I imagine it is only mere custom which persuades me to add these words, since what follows will speak for itself — or not, as the case may be.

I should like to emphasize the word ‘verse’ in the title with the first offering of the book with

A response
Just this once
To one, who in a manner rather terse
Wanted to know the difference between poetry and verse.
Covers the whole gamut from superb to very much worse;
Poetry, to be equally terse,
Is also verse,
But verse which (rhyme or no rhyme)
Has passed the test of discriminating acclaim and of time.
So until your verse has (and you will never know it)
DON’T, please, call yourself a POET !
Just say ‘I write verse’, eh ?

As I was typing these pages out, I was remembering with joy and heartfelt gratitude the toast proposed by our eldest son David on the occasion of our golden wedding. ‘Now, folks, I want you to raise your glasses and drink to the health of the two people who gave us so much love, and so much care, and an example of what marriage ought to be !’

There have not been many occasions in my life when I have been lost for words, as my beloved wife would confirm all too readily, but on this occasion I was quite incapable of speech. Dorothy saw this at once, and stepped forward to say, ‘And we would like to drink to the best family any couple ever had !’

So the offering of this verse, grave and gay and at times merely ludicrous, is dedicated to our beloved family, with the hope that in reading it they may sense some small measure of the joy they have given to us.